Frequently Asked Questions
No, Brave will always be free to use — you don’t need to pay to block ads and tracking.
We encourage you to support your favorite publishers with Brave Rewards, or get compensated for paying attention to Brave Ads, but these features are both completely voluntary. You can use one, the other, both, or neither.
Some have asked that when we do eventually allow select ads through, whether we will employ the “Acceptable Ads” model. There are two parts to that model, filter rules and business deals. Take the second first:
We do not use the business model of taking annual fees from advertisers to allow their ads (and trackers for confirmation) to pass unblocked. Our business model does not couple our ad and flat fee based revenue to which ads we block.
We do use some of the filter rules that are associated with “Acceptable Ads” to block known-bad domains and URL patterns; and to block and clean up after HTML-native ads.
We use all-open source, and we welcome help in auditing our source and verifying our binaries on Debian Linux (verified binaries provably derive from a given version of open source).
Watch Brendan speak about this here for more on verified builds.
Beyond this lower-level auditing, we will need partners to believe in our anonymous ad attribution and conversion confirmation system. More on this as we build it out in near-term milestones on the road to Brave 1.0.
Tracking scripts (trackers) and ads that depend on them are blocked by default. You can allow ads and trackers in the Shields settings globally and for each site.
Brave allows you to opt into Brave Rewards, which includes privately matched ads that do not track you, and that pay you a revenue share to support the creators you like.
In 2016, Brave introduced proposal for a private and anonymous third-party ad-replacement system. We are pleased that it generated an informed and vital debate regarding the problem of uncontrolled trackers and ad exchanges, which in the worst cases spread malware through unaware publishers.
In 2017, we are focusing on the Basic Attention Token (BAT), and the ecosystem that it will enable, offering users and publishers a better way to fund the Web. With BAT (along with staking users with a share of tokens), Brave will work to offer privately-matched, anonymously-verified ads. Users can opt-into this.
Brave is working with verified publishers (hundreds of whom have already joined via publishers.brave.com) to help generate greater revenue per user than they receive from today’s broken ad-tech ecosystem.
More information regarding the Basic Attention Token is available here.
Brave blocks ads and trackers by default. We will soon release the ability for users to opt into receiving some ads. We will offer this option as another way — beyond Brave Payments — that users can support publishers.
When they do appear, there will be fewer but higher quality ads. Rest assured, that even if you opt into receiving these ads, trackers will still be blocked and your privacy will still be protected. We will provide more detail around this feature when it is ready.
Extensions face API and performance limits. Additionally, popular extension stores often host malicious counterfeit extensions, which have lead to millions of infected users.
Building our own browser lets us put our best foot forward on matters of speed and privacy. We may do extensions if our users find themselves browsing in other browsers often.
As mentioned above, the browser knows almost everything you do. It knows what sites you visit, how much time you spend on them, what you look at, what is visible “above the fold” and not occluded by opaque layers, what searches you make, what groups of tabs you open while researching major purchases, etc.
Only the browser, after HTTPS terminates and secure pages are decrypted, has all of your private data needed to analyze user intent. Our auditable open source browser code protects this intent data on the client device. Our server side has no access to this data in the clear, nor does it have decryption keys. We do not run a MitM proxy or VPN service.
We provide signals to the browser to help it make good decisions about what preferences and intent signals to expose to maximize user, publisher and advertiser value. Each ad request is anonymous, and exposes only a small subset of the user’s preferences and intent signals to prevent “fingerprinting” the user by a possibly unique set of tags.
While we will block third-party cookies where you have no first-party relationship with the cookie’s domain, we don’t block first party cookies by default.
However, the Brave user will have the option to selectively block/enable cookies globally or on a site-by-site basis. Google will only have the ability to track you within their own domain and they won’t be able to use that information to target you outside of google.com.
Brave Rewards General
- You can opt-in to Brave Ads and earn BAT
- You can also connect your Browser Wallet to the Uphold Wallet and fund it via Uphold; Via Uphold you can use other crypto currencies or fiat to fund your Wallet
Soon, you will be able to earn in more ways than Ads and have more funding Wallet choices.
Tips are deducted from your wallet as you make them, and submitted for processing. Each new tip is recorded in your Rewards settings. Auto-contributions are processed every 30 days, and you will be notified prior to your monthly contribution day.
Note: Because your tips and contributions are anonymous, it is not possible to notify you when they are received by the publisher/creator. However, at the end of the month, the Publishers are paid out.
Your Brave wallet comes with a set of anonymized recovery codes, accessible on the Payments Preferences page. Click on the “Advanced Settings” gear icon, then choose “Backup your wallet”. You can copy, print, and/or file your anonymized recovery codes.
It is important to note that it is your sole responsibility to store these codes in a safe and secure place (or perhaps multiple places) for safekeeping, since neither Brave Software, Uphold, nor anyone else is able to recover the funds in your Brave wallet if you lose these codes, so choose the place or places you store your anonymized recovery codes wisely.
Basic Attention Token. It is a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users in our new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform.
Ownership of the tokens carry no rights other than the right to use them as a means to obtain services on the BAT platform, and to enable usage of and interaction with the platform, if successfully completed and deployed.
The tokens do not represent or confer any ownership right or stake, share or security or equivalent rights, or any right to receive future revenue shares, intellectual property rights or any other form of participation in or relating to the BAT platform, and/or Brave and its affiliates. The tokens are not refundable and are not intended to be a digital currency, security, commodity or any other kind of financial instrument.
Our servers never have custody of funds in users’ Brave wallets, since Brave doesn’t hold any of those keys. It is therefore not possible for theft of funds from users’ Brave wallets to happen via attacks against our servers.
Although we cannot initiate transfers, we do enforce restrictions on transfers made by the browser wallet, ensuring that they can only flow only through our settlement process. Attacks against the keypair held by the browser cannot move funds outside of this process.
All automatic contributions are anonymized such that no one can link these transactions with a specific user’s wallet or browsing activity, thanks to the extensive use of privacy preserving cryptographic protocols. This same property holds for tips and monthly contributions if you use Rewards just by enabling it, without signing up at Uphold or other wallet providers. Our wallet partners are used to pay out publishers on the basis of aggregate and fully anonymous monthly contributions, again with no linkability back to any individual user. At the time of monthly settlement, our wallet partner learns the total amount of funds sent by all users to a particular publisher over the last month, and nothing else.
However, if you have chosen to sign up with one of our wallet partners, then your Brave browser can contact their servers in order to send tips in near real-time to other members (e.g., verified creators) upon instruction. Such contact is initiated only based on user actions; it involves directly connecting with the wallet provider’s servers without any interaction with our servers. The wallet provider in this case will necessarily be able to see the recipient address and amount of your tip, meaning your tip is no longer anonymous. The Brave servers do not receive, store, transmit, or otherwise share any data in relation to these user activities.
Your browsing history simply includes all sites that you’ve visited. However, your Brave Rewards contributions list is intended to be limited to publisher sites you’ve visited and are potentially eligible to receive your contributions.
If you have the “auto-include” option enabled (found on the Rewards Preferences page), then sites that you visit and appear to be publishers are added to your contributions list automatically. You always have to ability to disable contributions to any site.
Brave’s exclusion list is curated over time based upon feedback from our community of users, and you can submit a request to remove a non-publisher site at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a publisher, or planning to verify as a publisher with Brave, you can sign up here. If you are already signed up, you need to use your login to your Brave Rewards publisher account to add your Uphold account and receive earnings that are transferred to your Uphold account by the 8th of every month.
Brave browser users can contribute to and tip their favorite content creators at any time privately, and their contributions are made available to content creators participating every month as earnings.
Before a publisher is able to receive contributions, they need to demonstrate that they control their domain (e.g. “example.com”). Brave uses a challenge-response protocol for this purpose.
If the exchange is successful, we know that our automated systems are communicating with the publisher who controls the domain. Brave Software neither endorses nor disavows sites that verify; we report whether they have verified or not.
Your monthly contribution is created using a computer algorithm which takes into account things like number of visits each site, the time spend on each page, etc. It does this securely and anonymously.
As your monthly contribution time approaches, you’ll receive an in-browser alert allowing you to review and adjust contributions before they are processed.
Publishers that are part of the Brave rewards program that have signed up here get notified when funds are transferred to their accounts every month. If the owner of the account has an Uphold account created, after transfers of BAT, or fiat equivalent of BAT, an email is sent to the owner.
If the owner of the account has yet to register an Uphold account, an email is sent letting the owner know that they should create an Uphold account and their earnings will be sent to their account the following month.
A “verified” publisher simply needs to establish an Uphold account to collect and/or convert BAT contributions . Contributions accrued on a monthly basis are processed and sent to the Publisher’s Uphold account using their choice of currency.
If a “verified” publisher is participating in the Brave referral program, payments for all confirmed Brave users will be also be paid out during this cycle. The cycle repeats each month and payments are normally paid out by the 8th of every month.
An “unverified” publisher needs to become verified before connecting their Uphold account. More details are available at publishers.basicattentiontoken.org.
Creators must verify ownership of their properties with Brave in order to receive contributions from Brave users. No funds leave the browser except to go to verified creators. If a creator has not yet verified ownership, then a user’s attempted contributions to the creator will remain pending in their browser for up to 90 days. Pending contributions do not deduct BAT from a user’s balance unless and until they are actually sent to the creator.
If a creator has verified ownership of their properties but is not configured to receive tips from certain Brave users (for example, when a user is verified with a particular custodial wallet service but the creator is not also set up with that custodial wallet service provider), then the user’s tip will remain pending within their browser for up to 90 days. (Auto-Contribute is not affected by custodial wallet service limitations.)
If within the 90 day period the browser detects that a pending contribution can now be made to the creator, then the pending contribution will be processed. A user can always cancel a pending contribution before 90 days have elapsed, and notices appear within the Brave Rewards tipping interface to tell users whether the tip they are trying to make will go into pending.
Previous versions of Brave
Previous versions of the Brave desktop browser worked differently. Until version 0.58.21, released on January 11, 2019, browsers with Brave Rewards enabled would contribute BAT to content creators whether or not they had verified. Brave would then hold contributed funds for those publishers in escrow until they’d verified. Brave servers will continue to hold previously-contributed BAT on behalf of those unverified publishers, in the following manner:
- Funds that were contributed from a token grant provided by Brave will be returned to Brave’s User Growth Pool if the funds remain unclaimed for a year.
- Funds that were contributed from user-funded wallets will be held indefinitely, until the publisher verifies and transfers them to their own wallet.
With the Binance widget, Brave users can access the Binance.com and Binance.US (for US-based users) sites, buy and sell crypto assets, view asset balances, and obtain deposit addresses all without leaving the browser. Visit brave.com/binance to learn more.
Users are rewarded in Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) when they opt in to view privacy-preserving ads in Brave, called “Brave Ads.” Gemini users can link their Gemini account to their Brave Rewards wallet, allowing them to receive and manage the BAT they earn through Brave Rewards with their Gemini account.
When a user links their Gemini account to their Brave Rewards wallet, the BAT balance in their Brave Rewards comes to reflect the BAT balance in their Gemini account, allowing BAT purchased via gemini.com to be used inside the Brave Rewards ecosystem.
Step 1: Download and install Brave Browser for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
Step 2: Click the BAT icon at the top of the Brave Browser and follow the prompts, or navigate to the Rewards settings page (brave://rewards/). Once you’re there, click the Verify wallet button to connect your Rewards Wallet directly to your Gemini account.
If you are not already a Gemini customer, you will be directed to create a Gemini account first.
When you connect your Gemini account to your Brave Rewards Wallet, your BAT balance in Brave Rewards will be added to the BAT balance in your Gemini account. This means that when you earn BAT for viewing Brave Ads, your BAT earnings are sent directly to your Gemini account.
You can also deposit BAT into your Gemini account and utilize the BAT inside the Brave Rewards ecosystem (e.g., to tip creators). When you tip your favorite creators, BAT is sent from your Gemini account to theirs.
Gemini’s integration with the Brave Browser allows you to execute your trades on the Gemini Exchange directly from the Gemini trading widget on the new tab page in Brave.
Step 1: Download and install Brave Browser for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
Step 2: Once you’ve installed and launched the Brave Browser, select the Gemini trading widget on the new tab page.
Step 3: Select Connect to Gemini to sign in to your Gemini account, or create an account (if you don’t already have one).
Step 4: After you connect your Gemini account to Brave, you can view your account balance or select the trading screen and begin trading directly in Brave.
An extra layer of security: Brave users and content creators can have confidence in the safety of their crypto assets, owing to Gemini’s commitment to security, licensing, and regulation.
Seamless crypto access: Brave users can trade any crypto asset listed on the Gemini Exchange, all within the Brave ecosystem.
Easily manage BAT: Users and content creators can now cash out their BAT earnings directly from Brave, or trade their BAT earnings for any other assets supported on Gemini’s exchange.
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